Designing Antiphishing Education

Designing Antiphishing Education

James W. Ragucci (Syracuse University, USA) and Stefan A. Robila (Montclair State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-132-2.ch016
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Fraudulent e-mails, known as phishing attacks, have brought chaos across the digital world causing billions of dollars of damage. These attacks are known for their ability to exploit the human aspect of a computer system by pretending to originate from a source trusted by the victim. While technology defenses have been setup for protection, people are still succumbing to these attacks at alarming rates. Therefore, educational techniques must implement to strengthen the human factor of security. We propose the use of a phishing IQ test that when used in classroom setting can help users build experience needed to identify phishing e-mail during their daily routine.
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Phishing is generally described as sending computer users messages claiming to originate from a legitimate entity and attempting to lead the user to provide private information that will be further used for identity theft (“Phishing,” 2006). While the nature of the message (and the purported originating entity) varies from with each individual attack, one can notice that the entities continue to diversify and that the sole number of such attacks is staggering. A brief review of phishing related news for the first seven days of November 2006 in chronological order is shown in Figure 1. Such bleak reality is shared by professional reports that suggest that the number of reported phishing attempts has almost doubled between August 2005 and August 2006 (“Phishing Activity Trends Report - September 2006,” 2006).

Figure 1.

Survey of phishing related news for the first week of November 2006

Faced with an increasing threat, software companies, federal agencies, financial and commercial institutions and internet service providers have increased their antiphishing efforts. Statistics are now being compiled monthly monitoring the threat level, and repositories of phishing events have been created (and are publicly available). As the variety of phishing techniques increase, more defense tools/methods are developed. In recent versions of the internet browsers, ‘anti-phishing’ filters are provided (an application component that checks the website against a list of known phishing sites) (Microsoft, 2006). Log-in procedures have been revamped by requiring multi-step authentication and changing challenge-response pairs (Schechter, Dhamija, Ozment, & Fischer, 2007). Despite all this effort from the IT world, people continue to fall victim to phishing tactics. It is therefore necessary to improve upon previous methods of education to help protect an increasingly vulnerable population. Thus, we present an educational method that can be used to help teach users how to protect themselves from phishing associated identity theft. To better understand how to identify a phishing attack, people need to learn how and why phishing works. Hence, it is imperative to show the reasons phishing is so successful as well as why it has become one of the top cyber threats of the new millennium. With this knowledge people should be able to see their own mistakes in phishing identification and be able to reduce the problem.

In the following, we start by providing a survey of the ‘state of the art’ in phishing. Next, we describe the current phishing education strategies we developed and implemented. The educational method includes phishing detection tests, as well as an education session that starts by defining the threat and builds that knowledge into means for phish identification. The education module has been already administered to approximately 120 undergraduate students at Montclair State University. Survey results indicate an increased awareness of the issue and an increased ability to detect phishing attempts.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Identity theft: The act of stealing personal information and user credentials, with the intent of using the information for fraudulent purposes.

Context-Aware Phishing IQ Text: The combination of context information of a target audience and a phishing IQ text that is custom built as a way to optimize the education experience of the end-users.

Phishing Botnet: A collection of compromised computers that run with the intent of conducting phishing attacks.

Page Load Attack: A toolbar exploit that delays a webpage from fully loading in the web browser as a way of preventing the browser from determining the webpage’s authenticity.

Context-Aware Phishing Attack: A phishing attack that built from information gathered in advance about the target used to harvest additional information needed for identity theft.

Phishing: The use of social engineering in e-mails for the purpose of deceiving the recipient into either compromising sensitive information or following a set of instructions that leads to a security breach.

Content Distribution Network Attacks: A toolbar exploit that appends a blacklisted phishing address to a white listed webpage in an effort to circumvent the toolbar.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
John Walp
Manish Gupta, Raj Sharman
Chapter 1
C. Warren Axelrod
This chapter examines the impact of catastrophes on information security and suggests who might have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate... Sample PDF
Responsibilities and Liabilities with Respect to Catastrophes
Chapter 2
David Porter
This chapter discusses the latest developments in the shifting threat landscape and their impact on the world of information security. It describes... Sample PDF
The Complex New World of Information Security
Chapter 3
Ahmed Awad E. Ahmed
In recent years, many studies have highlighted the unprecedented growth in security threats from multiple and varied sources faced by corporate, as... Sample PDF
Employee Surveillance Based on Free Text Detection of Keystroke Dynamics
Chapter 4
Arunabha Mukhopadhyay, Samir Chatterjee, Debashis Saha, Ambuj Mahanti, Samir K. Sadhukhan
An online business organization spends millions of dollars on firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion detection systems, digital signature, and encryption... Sample PDF
E-Risk Insurance Product Design: A Copula Based Bayesian Belief Network Model
Chapter 5
Guoling Lao
E-commerce mode aggravates information asymmetry so that honesty-credit problems become more serious. This chapter discusses the honesty-credit... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Security and Honesty-Credit
Chapter 6
Zhixiong Zhang, Xinwen Zhang, Ravi Sandhu
This chapter addresses the problem that traditional role-base access control (RBAC) models do not scale up well for modeling security policies... Sample PDF
Towards a Scalable Role and Organization Based Access Control Model with Decentralized Security Administration
Chapter 7
Chandan Mazumdar
There has been an unprecedented thrust in employing Computers and Communication technologies in all walks of life. The systems enabled by... Sample PDF
Enterprise Information System Security: A Life-Cycle Approach
Chapter 8
Peter O. Orondo
Most companies would agree that securing their information assets is worth some investment. It is thus plausible to assume that low levels of IT... Sample PDF
An Alternative Model of Information Security Investment
Chapter 9
George O.M. Yee
The growth of the Internet is increasing the deployment of e-services in such areas as e-commerce, e-learning, and e-health. In parallel, the... Sample PDF
Avoiding Pitfalls in Policy-Based Privacy Management
Chapter 10
Supriya Singh
Enabling customers to influence the way they are represented in the bank’s databases, is one of the major personalization, responsiveness, and... Sample PDF
Privacy and Banking in Australia
Chapter 11
Madhusudhanan Chandrasekaran, Shambhu Upadhyaya
Phishing scams pose a serious threat to end-users and commercial institutions alike. E-mail continues to be the favorite vehicle to perpetrate such... Sample PDF
A Multistage Framework to Defend Against Phishing Attacks
Chapter 12
Ghita Kouadri Mostefaoui, Patrick Brézillon
In recent years, the security research community has been very active in proposing different techniques and algorithms to face the proliferating... Sample PDF
A New Approach to Reducing Social Engineering Impact
Chapter 13
Yang Wang
Privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs), which constitute a wide array of technical means for protecting users’ privacy, have gained considerable... Sample PDF
Privacy-Enhancing Technologies
Chapter 14
Douglas P. Twitchell
This chapter introduces and defines social engineering, a recognized threat to the security of information systems. It also introduces a taxonomy... Sample PDF
Social Engineering and its Countermeasures
Chapter 15
Tom S. Chan
Social networking has become one of the most popular applications on the Internet since the burst of the dot-com bubble. Apart from being a haven... Sample PDF
Social Networking Site: Opportunities and Security Challenges
Chapter 16
James W. Ragucci, Stefan A. Robila
Fraudulent e-mails, known as phishing attacks, have brought chaos across the digital world causing billions of dollars of damage. These attacks are... Sample PDF
Designing Antiphishing Education
Chapter 17
Serkan Ada
This chapter discusses the recent theories used in information security research studies. The chapter initially introduces the importance of the... Sample PDF
Theories Used in Information Security Research: Survey and Agenda
Chapter 18
Samuel Liles
Information assurance education is an interdisciplinary endeavor that only when taken as a holistic and inclusive educational activity can be... Sample PDF
Information Assurance and Security Curriculum Meeting the SIGITE Guidelines
Chapter 19
Gary Hinson
This chapter highlights the broad range of factors that are relevant to the design of information security awareness programs, primarily by... Sample PDF
Information Security Awareness
Chapter 20
Nick Pullman, Kevin Streff
Security training and awareness is often overlooked or not given sufficient focus in many organizations despite being a critical component of a... Sample PDF
Creating a Security Education, Training, and Awareness Program
Chapter 21
E. Kritzinger, S.H von Solms
This chapter introduces information security within the educational environments that utilize electronic resources. The education environment... Sample PDF
Information Security Within an E-Learning Environment
Chapter 22
Donald Murphy, Manish Gupta, H.R. Rao
We present five emerging areas in information security that are poised to bring the radical benefits to the information security practice and... Sample PDF
Research Notes on Emerging Areas of Conflict in Security
Chapter 23
C. Orhan Orgun
This chapter develops a linguistically robust encryption system, LunabeL, which converts a message into syntactically and semantically innocuous... Sample PDF
The Human Attack in Linguistic Steganography
Chapter 24
Sérgio Tenreiro de Magalhães, Kenneth Revett, Henrique M.D. Santos, Leonel Duarte dos Santos, André Oliveira, César Ariza
The traditional approach to security has been the use of passwords. They provide the system with a barrier to access what was quite safe in the... Sample PDF
Using Technology to Overcome the Password's Contradiction
Chapter 25
Antonio Cerone
Reducing the likelihood of human error in the use of interactive systems is increasingly important. Human errors could not only hinder the correct... Sample PDF
Formal Analysis of Security in Interactive Systems
Chapter 26
Tejaswini Herath
It is estimated that over 1 billion people now have access to the Internet. This unprecedented access and use of Internet by individuals around the... Sample PDF
Internet Crime: How Vulnerable Are You? Do Gender, Social Influence and Education play a Role in Vulnerability?
Chapter 27
Jarrod Trevathan
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Detecting Shill Bidding in Online English Auctions
Chapter 28
Carsten Röcker, Carsten Magerkurth, Steve Hinske
In this chapter we present a novel concept for personalized privacy support on large public displays. In the first step, two formative evaluations... Sample PDF
Information Security at Large Public Displays
Chapter 29
Yuko Murayama, Carl Hauser, Natsuko Hikage, Basabi Chakraborty
The sense of security, identified with the Japanese term, Anshin, is identified as an important contributor to emotional trust. This viewpoint... Sample PDF
The Sense of Security and Trust
About the Contributors